Managing Drought with Conservation Techniques

Could the recent storm in California have put a dent in the drought?

slimline tanksWe can’t change the weather, but we can make better use of it.

With a reported 2 – 4 inches of rainfall in Los Angeles county and 4 to 5 inches in San Diego county from this recent winter storm, widespread flooding was what we heard about on the news. News station weather centers were quoted as saying, “While the rains in California have been generous, they are far from enough to put a dent in the drought.” Since 80% of California is experiencing drought, while this record rainfall caused some flooding and damage, it was also an opportunity to see how we can apply conservation techniques to harness water for toilet flushing and laundry facilities.

For an average 3,500 square foot home in San Diego, four inches of rainfall could have collected approximately 7,500 gallons of water. In Los Angeles with only 1.5” of rainfall, the same house could have collected 2,780 gallons. If this hypothetical 35,000 square foot home collected, stored and used this rain from this single event, merely for toilet flushing, it would equal over 2,225 flushes or approximately 10 flushes per day for the whole year. Applying the same scenario to the San Diego house could mean the same 10 flushes per day PLUS 168 loads of laundry per year! Imagine how much water could be collected if a commercial building, with its larger roof space was to apply this practice.

Drought can be managed if the right conservation techniques are applied.

Photo: Ray Chavez/Bay Area New Group

Ken Blair
A rainwater collection systems designer and consultant, Ken has designed and installed residential and commercial systems, primarily in the northwest United States for more than 10 years and, in 2014, began consulting and managing builds in other states. Ken is an accredited ARCSA Professional Designer / Installer and Life Member, the Northwest Regional ARCSA representative and advisor to its education committee and is available to speak about Rainwater Collection Systems design and builds.

Ken is a United States Navy veteran, having served on active duty during the Vietnam War era.

A career entrepreneur, Ken created a new business focus with a commercial dive company in Hawaii in the mid 1980′s to respond to and clean up oil spills, oil spill equipment training, service and maintenance for the oil co-op service industry. Ken is passionate about having a positive impact on the environment and is also a founding director of BANK-ON-RAIN (2011-2014), whose mission is to create grassroots solutions for rainwater collection for consumption and agriculture in developing areas of the planet.

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